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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36903. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036903. Epub 2012 May 15.

Overexpression of CARMA3 in non-small-cell lung cancer is linked for tumor progression.

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Department of Pathology, First Affiliated Hospital and College of Basic Medical Sciences, China Medical University, Shenyang, People's Republic of China.


We aimed to investigate the clinical significance of the expression of novel scaffold protein CARMA3 in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the biological function of CARMA3 in NSCLC cell lines. We observed moderate to high CARMA3 staining in 68.8% of 141 NSCLC specimens compared to corresponding normal tissues. The overexpression of CARMA3 was significantly correlated with TNM stage (P = 0.022) and tumor status (P = 0.013). CARMA3 upregulation also correlated with a shorter survival rate of patients of nodal status N0 (P = 0.042)as well as the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) (P = 0.009). In EGFR mutation positive cases, CARMA3 expression was much higher (87.5%) compared to non-mutation cases (66.1%). In addition, we observed that knockdown of CARMA3 inhibits tumor cell proliferation and invasion, and induces cell cycle arrest at the boundary between the G1 and S phase. We further demonstrated a direct link between CARMA3 and NF-κB activation. The change of biological behavior in CARMA3 knockdown cells may be NF-κB-related. Our findings demonstrated, for the first time, that CARMA3 was overexpressed in NSCLC and correlated with lung cancer progression, EGFR expression, and EGFR mutation. CARMA3 could serve as a potential companion drug target, along with NF-kB and EGFR in EGFR-mutant lung cancers.

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